The Norman Transcript

News Features

June 4, 2013

Little Axe resident, volunteers from near and far help community after storm




The accounts: Kathy Lynn, of nearby Newalla, was at the Pecan Valley Junction as volunteers nearby distributed supplies. Lynn said 10 family members, who live in her home, sought safety in a storm shelter on her property when the tornadoes approached.

“We shut the door and stayed inside the shelter,” Lynn said. “My 21-year-old son looked up and said, ‘Mom, I can see the screws being pulled out of the ventilation (fan).’ Right when he said that, it snapped off and went flying and our ears went to popping.”

Lynn said she and her family could hear the storm producing loud roars, then suddenly “it went really quiet.” When the family stepped from the shelter, they found their home heavily damaged, with many of the trees on her property snapped into pieces and others completely uprooted.

Little Axe resident Veronica Gottschalk said she was folding laundry while her husband, Jerry, was marinating steaks when the twisters came too close to their home for comfort. The couple attempted to flee the storm by driving away in their Ford F-150 pickup truck, but they were met by twin funnel clouds while on a nearby roadway.

“We were facing it head on,” Veronica Gottschalk said as the couple tried to drive to safety. “I had my Bible with me. I was praying.”

She said the vehicle then began to be struck by either debris or softball-sized hail, she wasn’t sure which.

“We were all over the road,” Veronica said. “What it was, the tornado kept picking us up and pulling us all over the road.”

She said having people in her community and others — like Indiana Cares volunteers who logged nearly 1,600 miles total to respond — in the areas to provide assistance is a blessing.

“It is very sweet of them, and we really appreciate them,” Gottschalk said.

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